Ja­pan PM, Ira­nian pres­i­dent to discuss Us-iran row

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - INTERNATIO­NAL -

(DPA), 12 JUNE, 2019-Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe de­parted Ja­pan on Wed­nes­day for a two-day visit to Iran amid grow­ing ten­sions be­tween Tehran and Wash­ing­ton.

Abe, who will be­come the first Ja­panese premier to visit Iran in 41 years, is sched­uled to hold talks with Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rowhani on Wed­nes­day and Supreme Leader Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei on Thursday, the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment said.

“Based on tra­di­tion­ally friendly re­la­tions be­tween Ja­pan and Iran, I would like to ex­change frank opin­ions in order to defuse ten­sions,” Abe told re­porters upon his de­par­ture from Tokyo’s Haneda Air­port.

Abe is will­ing to serve as an in­ter­me­di­ary, as Ja­pan has am­i­ca­ble re­la­tions with Iran, which the country had long re­lied on for oil im­ports un­til the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion ended its sanc­tions waivers granted to buy­ers of Iran’s crude oil.

Abe’s trip to the Is­lamic Repub­lic comes amid the 90th an­niver­sary of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries.

Abe spoke with US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump over the phone on Tues­day to discuss Iran, gov­ern­ment spokesman Yoshi­hide Suga told a news con­fer­ence.

Dur­ing his state-visit to Tokyo in late May, the US pres­i­dent did not op­pose the premier’s plan to hold meet­ings with Ira­nian lead­ers.

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